To all the students about to start nursing school...

Nursing Students General Students


I just finished my last day of nursing school. Turned in my last assignment at exactly noon. It still hasn't sunk in yet. For the last 4 hours I have sat on my couch not really knowing what to do with myself. I then decided to reach out to all the students who may be starting a program this fall. I remember being in those shoes, and all the questions I had. All the fear. All the excitement. So basically, Ill sum up my nursing school experience as best as I can.

1.) You WILL survive. I did. I'm one of those people who have what you call, "anxiety," and boy did I let that get to me right before my program started. I was incredibly scared. I had heard all these stories on this site about how hard nursing school is, how I would have no life, etc. You WILL survive. I did. (And honestly, it can be frustrating at times, but it really isn't that bad...)

2.) That leads me to number 2. Nursing school IS hard. BUT, its only hard because of the amount of work, not the material itself. Learn time management. Like yesterday. Dont let yourself fall behind, but DO give yourself breaks. You DONT have to have a 4.0. You just need to pass. You will learn this by your last quarter when it takes all you have to finish your last assignments and you find yourself figuring the percentage you need just to pass the darn class...

3.) You CAN work. I worked an average of 15 hours a week and maintained a 3.8 average. And I don't want to brag, but my program has a notorious reputation of being one of the more "challenging" in the area.

4.) Your house WILL be messy. But you probably wont have time to notice...

5) You will PROBABLY gain weight. (So dont go out and buy a bunch of new clothes two weeks before your program starts like I did. lol.)

6.) You're gonna cry at some point.

7.) At the same time, you're gonna have some of the most amazing smiles and laughs of your life..

8.) The friends you will make in the program will truly be the only ones who get what you are going through. Because of this, you will make some of the best friends of your life.

9.) You will have moments where you go.."wow, I actually feel like I get this nursing thing!"...Then 5 minutes later you feel lost again. Totally normal.

10.) Some teachers will scare the ***** out of you. While others will inspire you. Just do your thing. If they say say, "how high?"

Again, you WILL survive. I could keep going on and on. But that probably sums up most of it. I honestly feel like school just started yesterday and I have no idea how I got here right now because it went by SOOOOOOO fast. You got this. If you have any questions, please let me know. I'm hear to lend an ear. Besides, I have no idea what I am going to do with myself over these next few weeks besides study for my boards. This is just a very very very good way. :) Get ready to embark on the most REWARDING quest of your life. Its all worth it for this moment.

Awe thanks! Tonight was a stress night. I have moments. I'm generally o.k. with the work load. A little concerned, but I figure, I have a bachelor's already and more science than needed for this. I can do this.

My big concern is the financial constraints before the financial aid kicks in. iPad, 120 dollar shoes, them dictating down to my underwear what to wear.... all must be purchased in the next two weeks.

Well, that's my freak out today.

What I normally freak about is sleep. I work nights. I am switching to weekends for school. Fri, Sat, Sun nights. However I am in class Mon-Frid. Friday I will be up at 7:30 a.m. to get to class. It is an hour from home and I work an hour from home (about 20 minutes from campus though). I will be in class until noon, and have to find a place to nap and time to study before work that night (12.5-14 hour shifts). I have not found a place to nap. I will not get back home until 9:00 the following morning. Sunday I work through until Monday, then drive straight to class and sit until about noon. THEN I get to drive home. Luckily after the first week I will have the kids in school or day care, so I can sleep until the bus comes but I'm a bit scared about the lack of sleep. That is my hugest concern.

Dropping hours is not an option. I hold the health insurance for the children. And we need me to work in order to stay in our home, which is dirt cheap, but utilities cost a lot.

I know I will figure it all out, but until then, I'm a bit...ugh. WHENWILLISLEEP. Whine.

Thank you for the kind words!! Now get studying for boards!

Girl, I had a friend in my program who UNEXPECTEDLY lost her unemployment half way through and she figured it out. If you want it bad enough, you will figure it out too! School is expensive, but on the bright side, its hard to find time to spend money. Just budget and stick to it. But always plan for situations like my friend had...cuz you never know.

PS. Lots of students had to go out and buy everything the first day of school because they didn't get their money until then. Wait until you only have 30 minutes to go grocery shopping for your house because you have a 10 page paper due at midnight and you find yourself walking around Wal-Mart with your Med Surg Power point.. :) hehe..

Your schedule sounds challenging. I couldnt imagine working nights like that and being prepared for school Monday morning!! I have heard of it happening though. Just not in my program.

My husband is great at grocery shopping so we are good there! LOL. He's reworking his schedule to help with the childcare, and my oldest is 11 so we can leave her with her brother for about an hour (on late clinical days) if need be. I also have nanny cams from when we were considering a nanny, so I can link that to my iPad and keep an eye on them (as can the hubz from his smart device).

Our financial aide is not released until a month after classes start barring anything we buy in the on campus book store. All physicals (1,050 dollars worth), uniforms, name tags, labs, smart device, criminal records checks are on our dime because they are all needed before the middle of september (which is when our checks are released). We can get our books on the basis of "your financial aid is coming", but beyond that, anything outside of the school bookstore is all us. Fun times eh?

I've got the medical and records checks done. I found a 6 months same as cash credit through the apple store and bought an iPad. I will pay one, maybe two bills before my loans clear then pay it all off. I HAD my uniform barring lab coat and shoes, but I was an idiot and didn't take them out of the shopping bag and my kids thought it was a garbage bag. Use your imagination. No. Don't. It's too nasty to think about. None the less. I should only have shoes and undies left to buy barring books and notebooks, but um...well...I need new uniforms hahaha. Most expensive scrubs I ever bought! I laugh about it now. But I was crying when it happened. I have been trying to buy things a little at a time. It will get done. Eventually. Uniforms tomorrow after computer lab orientation.

Financial I will get figured out. Now to invest in NoDoze stock and I will be set. :D

Usually when I see a long post I choose not to read it (usually a lot of babbling going on) but for some reason I READ EVERY WORD OF THIS ONE!! OHHHHHH how I needed to hear this!!! This was so on point for me.I know throughout school that I am probably gonna come back and look for this exact post just to have some words of encouragement from someone who has been there!!!!

THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH and congrats on finishing your program. Keep me posted on how you do for your boards!!! :hug:

Loved your post I'm 2nd semester I love saying that woohoo I know I can do this and I can't wait to be in your position of not knowing what to do but study for NCLEX. Great idea reaching out I will keep it in mind and will pass it forward when my time comes. Good luck and breath for a minute you have earned it!

Aww, this post is an adorable read ! thanks for the tips :)

Thanks for this. I'll be starting nursing school in about a week in a half. I'm glad you mentioned that the material itself isn't difficult, it's just the amount. That's something I keep hearing so I'm making sure I have my time management down. I work as a CNA nights and changed my schedule to Friday and Saturday nights. I'm lucky my nursing classes are only on Mondays and Wednesdays so work won't interfere. I want to focus and do well in my program.

Thank you for this post. I start my LPN to RN program in about 2 weeks, and I have got myself so stressed out to the point of not being able to sleep *sigh* I have all my stuff though, with exception of 1 uniform top, and name tag (still waiting on bookstore to get them). To everyone else starting this Fall, good luck, and let's keep in touch ;-)

Awesome post!! Thank you so much. :) Good luck with your boards.

Specializes in Surgical Nursing.

Thanks a bunch! :)

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